Be One with Nature at the Dallas Zoo


The Dallas Zoo is located three miles south of downtown Dallas, Texas. It is a 106-acre zoo that was established in 1888, which makes it one of the oldest and largest zoos in Texas. Today, the zoo is managed by a non-profit organization named Dallas Zoological Society. The Dallas Zoo is home to over 2,000 animals that represents 406 different species. In this article, we are going to learn more about this zoo, its history, and the exhibits that you should see while you’re there.

History of Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo was established in 1888, and its first purchase was two mountain lions and two deer for $60. These animals were placed in pens before they were put on display in the City Park. During the 1890s, the city of Dallas agreed to fund the zoo, that is why more animals were purchased and added to its collection. Back then, the zoo called City Park home, but in 1910, it was relocated to Fair Park. Two years later, the zoo was moved to Marsalis Park, which had about 36 acres of land. That is why the zoo also got the chance to expand to its current size and acquire more animals. During the 1920s, the city of Dallas established a Zoo Commission to further develop and increase the zoo’s acquisition of several specimens. During the Depression Era of the 1930s, the zoo underwent an extensive renovation that was sponsored by the Works Progress Administration.

The zoo became a popular and profitable attraction during the 1960s. Six years later, the zoo is taking care of about five hundred species of animals. In the 1980s, the zoo began to change from the profit-driven display of animals to giving humane treatment of animals, which was strongly advocated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. That is why the Dallas Zoo began to give more emphasis on saving endangered species.

Things You Should See at the Dallas ZooDallas Zoo Elephants

The Dallas Zoo has two principal regions, and these are the Wilds of Africa and ZooNorth. The latter is the oldest section, while the Wilds of Africa was established 78 years after ZooNorth. These are the things that you should see in the zoo.

  • ZooNorth

    As we mentioned, this is the oldest part of the zoo. Here you can see a wide range of exhibits like Galapagos tortoises, Otter Outpost, and Big U!. Aside from that, there is also the Primate Place, where you can see monkeys and species from South America and Africa.

  • Giants of the Savanna

    This part of the zoo opened in May 2010. It has over 11-acre of land where you can see four female African elephants, South African cheetahs, African lions, reticulated giraffes, ostriches, red river hogs, impala, African Wild Dogs, guineafowl, and warthogs.

  • Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari

    This safari is a 20-minute, one-mile, narrated monorail ride that will take you around the watering hole where you can see the hippopotamus, rain forest, woodlands, mountain, arid desert, river, semi-arid desert, and bush exhibits. Aside from that, the monorail also has the aerial views of the Chimpanzee Forest, Simmons Hippo Outpost, Penguin Cove exhibits, and Nile crocodiles.

  • Forest Aviary

    In this part of the zoo, you will see vibrantly colored and exotic birds that are only native to Africa.

  • Crocodile Isle

    In the Crocodile Isle, visitors would get to see Nile crocodiles from behind the glass. You will get to see them lounge in the sun, swim, and even eat their food during public feedings.

  • Gorilla Research Center

    This center initially opened in 11990, and this is a 2-acre habitat with a lush, naturalistic landscape. This was designed to encourage gorillas to roam freely in an environment that imitates their native forest habitat.

  • Penguin Cove

    The Penguin Cove is home to a dozen African penguins, and you can see them from above and under the water as they swim and walk around.

  • Chimpanzee Forest

    The Chimpanzee Forest is a 19,000-square-foot where you can observe the chimpanzees from the open-air viewing station. This part has a stream, waterfall, trees, climbing structures, as well as rocks that are heated during the winter and cooled in the summer.

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